Player complaints are surfacing that Elder Scrolls Online is "dead" (see Reddit). While exact figures are unknown, a substantial amount of players have let their subscriptions expire, the release of the Craglorn content was rocky, and players are finding it more difficult to find people to play with and enjoy their experience. Gaming commentators are starting to talk openly about how the game can be saved, which never bodes well.

I'm reminded of the comments of Bethesda's Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Peter Hines. I can't help but think that they are now facing a "different scenario" which is going to require some compromises on their end.

*cough*Freetoplay*cough*

The next update is supposed to be available around June 23, so I guess we'll find out in about two weeks what the master plans are for the game moving forward.

4 comments

Comment from: Legoless [Visitor]  
Legoless

I haven’t noticed any differences in-game, although my fingers are still crossed for F2P (if only to shut up the elitists in chat).

06/08/14 @ 17:28
Comment from: jeancey [Member]  
Jeancey

It isn’t dead. Also, I don’t think a large number of people let their subscriptions expire. What you are seeing is the vocal minority, those are the people who talk about everything they do online. They say “I’m quitting because of blah". What you don’t see are the people who like the game and are continuing playing. You aren’t going to see people take to the forums to exclaim over how they are… still playing…. You just don’t see that. You ONLY see the annoyed people, which creates the perception that a large number of people quit. The last estimate I saw was that 1.2 million people bought the game prior to launch. There are also, undoubtedly, a number of people who were waiting for the console versions who might now play the PC version since they announced the transfer system. I don’t think it is dead or dying in any way, and the vast majority of people I have talked to both in real life and in the game love it.

06/09/14 @ 16:23
Comment from: minor edits [Member]  
minor edits

Good to know. I’m just relaying what I’ve read. It’s not like I’m looking specifically for negative news items. The news just happens to be negative, more often than not.

A substantial drop-off in subscriptions around this time in an MMO’s life is to be expected, regardless of a game’s quality. It’s really just a matter of whether these people can be coaxed back to the game later.

We might know more if Zenimax was more forthcoming with the statistics, but thus far, it seems they’re remaining tight-lipped on overall ESO sales numbers and the percentage of renewed subscriptions (as well as just about everything else). Edit- this is all the more troubling because, before the game came out, they seemed to really enjoy bragging about favorable statistics. Yet since then, we’ve got next to no info, as far as I know.

The Reddit topic has quite a few people in it defending ESO. It’s not all negative. But, again, professional gaming commentators don’t generally dwell on how to “save the game” unless the fact that it needs saving is pretty much a foregone conclusion (don’t wanna piss off the sponsors, after all).

Maybe they’re wrong. But as long as Zenimax is remaining mute, the only people setting the tone are the overly-negative internet masses. And the masses wanna gripe about bots, cheating, glitches, uninteresting quests, animation-interruption exploits, guilds, the party system (or lack thereof), etc., etc.

If and when Zenimax gets vocal about positive things regarding sales, subscriptions, and how they’re going to solve substantive complaints, I’d be more than happy to make a blog post about that, too. As someone wrote in the Reddit topic, the developers’ silence on important issues related to the game is really not helping anything. Especially since, in my view, their track record thus far in addressing fan concerns doesn’t inspire much confidence that they will adequately do so. I think they need a game-changer, literally, and the sooner they let fans know that it is coming, the better.

06/09/14 @ 17:08
Comment from: akb [Member]  
AKB

You’ll always hear the negative above the positive, I personally prefer to accentuate the negative myself. I am unsure of how Zenimax will handle it in the future still, though.

06/20/14 @ 12:57